Friday - Sunday, March 16 - 18, 2012
Fishing for a Blockbuster Paul Torday’s Second Career as a Novelist Has Lead to a Best Seller, and Now a Feature Film BY WILLIAM LYONS
verything about the idea of introducing salmon, and the sport of salmon fishing, into the dry river beds of Yemen seems preposterous. Yemen is a country that straddles Africa and the Middle East. Vast swathes of it lie under a blanket of sand, and summer temperatures can reach more than 30 degrees Celsius. Salmon, meanwhile, thrive in the cool waters of northern Europe. But seven years ago, in a meeting room in a nondescript office block in northeast England, Paul Torday, a 59-year-old semiretired manufacturer who has spent most of
his working career making components for the oil- and gas-services industry, started to daydream about his hobby, salmon fishing, and how absurd it would be to set up a salmon river in the Middle East. The idea became a book, which in turn became a best seller and, finally, a feature film, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” Directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, it opens April 20 in the U.K. and several other European countries. At a stage in life when most businessmen are thinking of winding down, Mr. Torday, now 65, is busy fulfilling his literary ambitions, enjoying a second career as
a novelist and getting to hang out with film stars. It all seems as unlikely as salmon fishing in Yemen. “I thought it might be quite refreshing to do something completely off-piste,” he says in measured tones. “I decided to write. When you read English at university, you do sometimes suffer from a bit of folie de grandeur and think you can write a novel one day. “Coming to [writing] later in life, I wasn’t particularly frightened of failure,” he adds. “I’d had plenty of ups and downs in business, as you do, and I thought I would try writing and see if it worked.” It did. Five novels followed, at the blistering pace of one a year, exploring the
themes of alcoholism, mental illness, posttraumatic stress disorder and inheritance. There are even plans for a second movie adaptation of his third novel, “The Girl on the Landing,” for which British writer Julian Fellowes has written a screenplay. But it is his first book that has resonated most. The story of Dr. Alfred Jones, a fisheries scientist (played by Mr. McGregor in the film), who has been commissioned by a peace-loving sheikh (Amr Waked) to bring salmon fishing to the Highlands of Yemen, has been reprinted more than 20 times since it was first published by Phoenix in 2007. Five years on, Mr. Torday is at a loss to exPlease turn to page W3
[ INSIDE ] ART When does an artist become iconic? W6
FASHION Finding that one perfect dress for a big event has never been easier W2
CULTURE A continuous stream of dance and a litany of choruses in Madrid W11
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
W2 | Friday - Sunday, March 16 - 18, 2012
Wanted: One Great Dress
Finding the Perfect Outfit for a Big Event Has Never Been Easier as Designers Offer Glamorous Looks BY TINA GAUDOIN When I was interviewing Gucci’s Frida Giannini recently for this column, she made the point that there was nothing wrong with a bit of dressing up now and then. “A great dress can really change your evening,” she said, or words to that effect. I have to say, that even though I’m not much of a “making the effort” kind of a female, I happen to agree with her wholeheartedly on this matter. When women utter that time-honored phrase “I have nothing to wear” on the eve of something big, they generally mean it and should be taken at their word. Why? Well, “something big” usually means one of two things: either that one stands the risk of being photographed, or that one will be surrounded by peers who will undoubtedly have taken critical note of what one has worn before.
Here are my two somewhat controversial tips for complementing OGDs this summer season. Lipstick: I’m not keen on it but, really, it’s called for. Nars’s Mitzi (£17.50) or Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmers (£5.99) are my recommendations for light, translucent colors that won’t throw the rest of your face into sharp relief. And…ditch the handbag. I know, I know. But aren’t you sick of never having the right bag for the right occasion? Doesn’t it spoil the line of your new dress? Surely your phone and car keys could fit into his pocket for a change? The way I see it, if you are buying an OGD for the summer, there are a number of ways to go: sexy, floral, pastel or print (and sometimes a combination of at least two of these). Here are my recommendations. MARC JACOBS
Sorbet colors will be everywhere this spring, but that doesn’t mean you should buy them. Certainly do not purchase from the High Street, as pastels are tough to get right in terms of cut, color and finish. Even the most expensive OGD in a sugary color has the potential to look cheap. The master of this look was Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. His oversized broderie anglaise dresses, skirts, jackets and tops have appeared on countless magazine covers already. Dresses start at £20,000. They’re worth it because in a few years’ time, they will be collector’s items—or you can frame them and put them on your wall. For a quieter, softer look, try Calvin Klein’s pale-peach silk dress (£2,105, pictured).
As unlikely as it sounds, florals can be worn for cocktails and beyond, particularly the type of bodyhugging florals we are seeing this spring. Dolce & Gabbana’s flattering peony-print, ruched silk dress (from around £1,170; left) and Erdem’s “Marlena” print dress in cotton sateen (£1,010) wouldn’t look out of place at the swankiest party. Put a cardigan or a jacket over them and they’ll do for the office or a wedding, too. Preen’s chinoiserie offers a more refined, covered-up take on the floral angle; try the “Akiko” printed black silk dress (£925, below).
There has never been a better season to buy OGD. For spring/summer 2012, designers pumped them out as if there had been an edict from on high. At the risk of sounding like my text-obsessed teenagers, there has never been a better season to buy OGD (one great dress). For spring/ summer 2012, designers pumped them out as if there had been an edict from on high. As it happens, among the best were Giannini’s flapper dresses for Gucci—all high-wattage glamour and sparkle—but there were plenty of other evening numbers to choose from, including simple, shimmery shapes from Calvin Klein, ornately embellished dresses from Versace and moltissimo sexy numbers from Dolce & Gabbana. Most designers this season lowered their hemlines—the OGD withstanding. It is, it seems, considered a necessity to design cocktail dresses that reveal “knee frowns,” while daywear and black-tie now qualify for more flattering longer lengths. In any case, what is abundantly clear is that wearing the OGD requires forethought. If you are spending money (and yes, of course, these dresses require an outlay), then don’t flake out where hair, exposed flesh and shoes are concerned. I’m not saying spend hours in the hairdressers, but a little more effort than usual is required. Make sure your legs and arms are glowing—moisturizer or fake tan, it doesn’t matter. Shoes should come with a heel and mostly without a back; my favorites are from Miu Miu (£700), Kurt Geiger (£195) and the shoes that started it all from Louis Vuitton (£890). A pedicure or a ferocious scrub of the heels with a pumice stone is mandatory.
DOLCE & GABBANA
Print CHRISTOPHER KANE
Sexy High-wattage glamour should not be abused, so wear these dresses sparingly and consider that once they have been worn, no one in the room will ever forget them. Gucci’s metallic, striped, fringed-leather flapper dresses really were fantastic (from £3,600, above right). Marc Jacobs’s metallic lamé and mesh, striped dress in neon and silver (£2,365, above) has a similar, if less obvious, vibe. Christopher Kane, meanwhile, married sexy and floral with his brocade dresses, which shimmered down the runway (around £1,530 for the blue and silver dress, right). For a slightly more subdued approach, try Alberta Ferretti’s georgette and silk lace dress in peach blush (£1,250).
If you are a monotone kind of a girl like me, this summer’s vibrant, often clashing prints might be best left alone. There’s nothing worse than going to a party and feeling like you are wearing somebody else’s clothes. However, if big, bold statements are for you, then Dries Van Noten has always been the king of print (finally, everyone else has caught up with him). This season, his oversized jungle prints, sometimes mixed with florals, won him acclaim. I particularly like the mix of the black-andwhite Arcadian print and green, frothy palm on his silk dress, with three-quarter sleeves (£1,085). The other designers doing the very best kind of prints include Peter Pilotto (printed, stretch-jersey dress, £675, near left), Etro (paisleyprinted, sleeveless, stretch-cotton dress, £575) and Burberry Prorsum (African-printed silks, from around £1,700; second from left).
Net-a-Porter (6); Calvin Klein; Burberry
[ Style ]
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Friday - Sunday, March 16 - 18, 2012 | W3
COVER: Writer Paul Torday, fishing near Chipchase Castle in 2007. Clockwise from above: Chipchase Castle; the book cover of ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’; Mr. Torday; Actors Ewan McGregor and Amr Waked in a scene from the film.
Fishing for Success Mr. Torday is pleased with the film and thinks Mr. McGregor manages to portray the slightly disconnected hero of the book well. “I don’t usually watch films very much. Where we live is a long way from the cinema, so we don’t go. I was quite surprised when somebody asked to option it because I couldn’t see it,” Mr. Torday says. “In a way it is a pity they changed the ending, because it takes some of the bite out of it. But I am not the guy who had to finance it.” He’s not sure how it will be received in Yemen, although he says he did get a warm reception when he visited the country at the invitation of the British Council shortly after the book was published.
Clockwise from top left, Getty Images; Orion Books; Getty Images (2)
Continued from page W1 plain its success, although he thinks one clue might be in the universal themes of faith, the belief in the impossible and living by an ethical code that one of the book’s principal characters, the sheikh, explores. “We live in an almost entirely secular world,” says Mr. Torday. “What I found when I traveled in the Middle East is that faith is simply part of everyday life. I didn’t want to get on my soapbox about any of that—that is why I made the book a comedy—but I did feel it was right.” He says fishing teaches people the values of patience, consideration and physical robustness. “By its nature, you have to be patient. You can’t wade into a pool while somebody else is fishing, and if the weather is freezing and it is blowing a gale, you just have to get on with it,” he says. “I think the sheikh speaks about those sorts of values. The genesis of the book came in 2005, when he was working on a project with the Rivers Trust, a U.K. charity. It required attending endless meetings with the government’s Environment Agency, during which he says his mind started to wonder. He began to think how the agency would react to an absurd idea like setting up a salmon river in the Middle East. This was around the time of the Iraq war and for someone who had traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, he says he was at a loss to comprehend why the coalition forces were there. “I just couldn’t understand what the war in Iraq was all about and the book started to come in my mind,” Mr. Torday says. “The project to introduce salmon into a river into the Middle East became a metaphor for futile involvement in Middle Eastern countries.” When we met last month, on a bleak winter’s day in his native Northumberland, he has just returned from a viewing of the final cut of “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” Although Simon Beaufoy, who wrote the screenplay, has slightly tweaked the ending,
At a stage in life when most businessmen are thinking of winding down, Paul Torday is busy fulfilling his literary ambitions. “The Yemenis were really charming, and slightly perplexed that I had written a novel set in their country and hadn’t been bothered to go there first,” he adds, laughing, “which I couldn’t really explain.” After studying English at Oxford, Mr. Torday settled in the Hexham area of Northumberland, where he lives today with his second wife, Penelope. For many years, home was Chipchase Castle, a Jacobean pile set in a remote valley, complete with shooting and fishing; which he’s keen to stress was inherited by Penelope. Recently, they have moved out, passing it onto the next generation—his two stepsons. (He has two further sons from his first marriage.) He himself has Hungarian roots: The name Torday derives from the Transylvanian province of Torda, and his father was born in Budapest. His novels often explore the slightly unfashionable world of upper-class Britain
and its recreations, such as shooting and fishing. Gentlemen’s clubs, gambling, cigar smoking and fine wine all feature. He argues that sometimes he feels it is almost unacceptable to write about slightly upperclass, rural society, which he has likened to an ethnic minority. “I feel very conscious that a lot of modern writing is very urban and I wanted to write about a different world,” Mr. Torday says. “Ninety percent of the people in this country still live and work in the countryside, and I wanted to try and bring that into the books. Not to try and explain or justify it, but to show that, actually, these are the people that are there.” Mr. Torday will be 66 this summer, but has no plans to retire. He remains chairman of Responsive Engineering Ltd., a small manufacturing firm, and is busy working on his next novel, a story about missing children that explores the idea of how we
would react if something miraculous happened. One of the children, before he goes missing, starts to exhibit stigmata and in other ways shows signs of an unusual spirituality. Mr. Torday says the novel is about the acceptance in our society—however reluctantly—of shocking levels of neglect and abuse and the disappearance of children. It also deals with the fact that we are no longer able to accept something extraordinarily miraculous, because miracles have been written out of the script in a secular society It follows his previous novels, which tend to explore human frailty and conditions such as alcoholism and schizophrenia. “I tend to write about individuals who have slightly fallen out of the rut,” he says. “People who have jumped out of their groove in life and who are having difficulty in working out how to live their lives. Only because imperfect people are easier to write about than perfect people.”
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
W4 | Friday - Sunday, March 16 - 18, 2012
FOOD & WINE
Ceviche: Marinating a Gastronomic Dream [ Food ]
Mathieu RostaingTayard, the best young chef in Lyon, recently sold his néo-bistrot Le 126 to travel the world, looking at culinary trends. It comes as no surprise that he plans to visit China and Japan, but his choice to spend time in Peru might strike some as unusual. Why Peru? Virtually unknown a decade ago outside of its native land, the country’s cuisine is quietly becoming the next food trend arousing interest in the West. Ceviche, raw fish marinated with lime and herbs, is the most identifiable aspect of the cuisine, but it also involves a creative blend of Spanish, Japanese and local influences. Last month, a restaurant bearing the name of that famous dish opened on Frith Street in London’s Soho neighborhood. The 85-seat Ceviche (cevicheuk.com) has three zones—a pisco bar; an area serving small plates of ceviche, such as fresh sea bass with chili and onions, or thin slices of braised octopus with Peruvian olive sauce; and the dining area, with its “Hero Wall” of famous Peruvians. The restaurant, the first ceviche bar in London, is the fulfillment of a dream for entrepreneur
Pisco bar at Ceviche Martin Morales. I first met Mr. Morales last fall, when the 39year-old Anglo-Peruvian invited me to attend a culinary demonstration in south London along with the Peruvian ambassador to the U.K., Hernán Couturier, and 20 or so potential investors. Though he didn’t even have a chef for his restaurant at the time, he had plenty of enthusiasm and marketing skills, which may explain why he was part of the original launch team for iTunes in Europe. With his new venture, Mr. Morales has managed to blend the three passions of his life—music, Peruvian culture and, most impor-
tantly, its cuisine. After moving to Britain when he was 11, Mr. Morales says he began cooking Peruvian food “because I wanted to regain my heritage and keep in touch with my roots.” In his late twenties, he worked as a DJ and created food events to accompany the music. After the successful launch of iTunes, he was hired by Disney to run the European side of its music business. “I really enjoyed my time there, but frankly all of that was too big and political, as I am more of a creative and entrepreneurial person,” he says. “I wanted my own business and to be in touch with my roots, and I
was also frustrated that there was no great place for Peruvian culture and food in London.” In September 2010, Mr. Morales and his wife sold their house in southwest London to help raise finances for Ceviche, and then set about with their business plan to convince investors that there was a need for such a place. Mr. Morales had to raise around €1.25 million for his restaurant, which employs 17 full-time staff and is located in one of Europe’s prime restaurant locations. Ceviche’s décor and busy atmosphere—customers usually order half a dozen or so small plates per
BY BRUCE PALLING
meal—suggests a place established for some time. The dishes certainly taste like a distinctly different cuisine, not as spicy as Mexican or as mild as Japanese. “We have some dishes that seduce in a subtle way and others that have a kick to them,” says Mr. Morales. Apart from the wide variety of ceviche, the dishes that impressed me most were pulpo, thin slices of octopus marinaded in chili and accompanied by a coriander-infused potato cake, and a duck confit with dark beer rice mixed with chili and corn. So far so good—people are filling the seats and the neighbors are friendly. Sam and Eddie Hart, who run several successful restaurants nearby, such as Barrafina and Quo Vadis, popped in while I was there to congratulate Mr. Morales and extend an open invitation “to drop by any time you need to borrow a cup of sugar.” However, launching a restaurant in the current economic climate isn’t without risks. “I believe that you can do whatever you want if you are honest and follow your gut feeling, but I am not foolish enough to think I can do it all myself as it is a team effort,” Mr. Morales says. “Other Peruvian restaurants will open, but I welcome that. The real problems will be not in the restaurant itself, but intangible threats that may involve the neighborhood, or what happens in London, or perhaps even the weather.”
Vignerons Are Laying Down Roots the World Over BY WILL LYONS Wine struggles with its ubiquity. “The trouble is, everywhere seems to make it these days,” remarked a Canadian friend of mine who couldn’t believe the number of stories she had read about countries planting vineyards. “Every day you pick up the paper and see another country is giving it a go. Pretty soon they will be making wine everywhere.” I had to agree. Of course in commercial terms, Europe still dominates the wine-producing map, but a quick flick through the latest edition of “The World Atlas of Wine” shows that India, China, Japan, Uruguay, Malta, Luxembourg and even Canada, a country one associates with vast prairies, soaring mountain ranges and cold winters, all produce wine. For the record, Canada produces some excellent wine. Along the Niagara Peninsula, geography and climate combine to produce conditions suitable for the vine. I’ve tasted great Pinot Noir from Pelee Island, and wonderful Riesling and world-class ice wine from Niagara. China, too, has a burgeoning wine industry. Domaines Barons de Rothschild, owner of Château Lafite Rothschild, is among a swathe of overseas investors busy planting vines in Shandong province. How do they taste? “It’s too early to say,” Lafite’s head winemaker, Charles Chevallier, said at a
recent tasting in London. But I have tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon blend from a producer in the landlocked Ningxia region and it wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t bet against China producing some pretty drinkable wine in a few decades. Within “The World Atlas of Wine” list, the U.K. is categorized as a whole, but even on its northern shores, on the Firth of Forth, in the home of Scotch whisky, hopeful vignerons have been planting vines. As to whether the grapes will make drinkable wine, we’ll have to wait a few years yet. With all these new plantings, I thought it would be an opportune time to taste some wines not from the outer fringes of the wine
‘Every day you pick up the paper and see another country is giving it a go,’ a Canadian friend remarked. world, but from its heart, the countries where it all began. In “I Drink Therefore I Am,” the philosopher Roger Scruton notes that archaeologists point to the area south of the Black Sea, in what is today made up of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and North Africa, as an area that has cultivated the vine since at least 6000 B.C. A drink known as Irp was served at the court of the pharaohs. This was followed by the ancient Greeks, who introduced vineyards to southern Italy. They also drank wine from the Phoenician city of Byblos on the Levantine coast, which today sits in Lebanon and
continues to produce wine. Indeed, wine estates such as Massaya and Château Musar in the Bekaa Valley make richly scented, spicy red wines. Modern Greece is often overlooked in winemaking terms. As well as its more immediate economic concerns, there is also its hot, arid summer weather, which could be seen as an obstacle. But sea breezes and high mountains make viticulture possible. The wild and herbaceous Retsina is one of its most famous white exports. In Naoussa, in the northern extremities of the country, red wines are produced with an attractive, light texture and full-throttle, deep bouquet. On Santorini, the white wines made from the Assyrtiko grape variety are as dry as they come, with a faint herbal character, while the island of Samos in the eastern Aegean makes luscious, honeyed pudding wine. Israel has maintained a healthy export market with kosher wine, produced by large cooperatives such as Carmel. Many of its indigenous grape varieties were uprooted during the Muslim conquest of the seventh century, but in the late 1970s, a range of new plantings helped to create a thriving local wine industry. This was led by the Golan Heights winery, whose plantings 400 meters above sea level inspired others to follow. Today, it is forging a reputation on wines made from French varieties, while the Judean Mountains, the hills that surround Jerusalem, are peppered with promising small, boutique wineries. In fact, there has never been a better time to explore the ancient world of winemaking.
Chanson Rouge 2010 Clos de Gat, Judean Hills, Israel Price: £10 or €12
Quinta do Seival 2006, Seival Estate, Campanha, Brazil Price: £17 or €20
Château Musar 2004 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon Price: £23 or €28
This winery takes its name from the French word Clos, meaning an enclosed or walled vineyard, and Gat, which is Hebrew for wine press. One of Israel’s best-known estates, it is owned by winemaker Eyal Rotem, who trained at Giaconda in Australia. This wine is a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Merlot, and sits in the glass with a dark purple color. Black- and red-berry aromatics dominate the nose. Perfect for a winter’s night.
When I think of Brazil, I tend to think of the beaches in Rio de Janeiro and its silky football team more than its winemaking prowess. But since the Portuguese arrived there in the mid-16th century, there has been a wine culture. This red wine, a blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz made on the border with Uruguay, is an absolute gem for the price. On the palate it offers rich, smooth, velvety fruit flavors and warming notes of plum and fig.
Château Musar has for many years held audience with those looking for offbeat wine from unlikely wine-producing countries, in this case Lebanon. Thanks to proprietor Serge Hochar, this classic, exotically scented wine has a cult following. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan, it has been said that no two bottles taste the same. This wine’s appeal is its notes of dried leather, mature cherries and prunes.
Bibendum Wine Ltd. (Quinta do Seival)
[ Wine ]
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Friday - Sunday, March 16 - 18, 2012 | W5
ART & AUCTIONS
Americans Invigorate Florence At Palazzo Strozzi, Impressionists and Dreamers Stun
[ Collecting ] BY MARGARET STUDER
From top, National Portrait Gallery, London; Terra Foundation for American Art
Above, ‘Henry James’ (1913) by John Singer Sargent; below, ‘The Olive Grove’ (circa 1910) by William Merritt Chase.
mous, and his smiling daughter “Giulietta as a Young Girl” (circa 1887) is a beguiling charmer. In the palazzo’s former wine cellar, the Strozzina Contemporary Culture Center offers a parallel exhibition called “American Dreamers: Reality and Imagination in Contemporary American Art,” with fascinating visions of fantasy worlds
The Palazzo Strozzi, under director James Bradburne, again confirms its standing as the most vibrant temporary exhibit center in Florence. conjured up by 11 American artists working hands-on, crafting their materials—paint, canvas, paper, found objects, fabric, bones—in a countercurrent to conceptual pretensions. Will Cotton’s precisely painted nude beauties float in cotton-candy clouds, like Baroque ceilings of yore. In Thomas Doyle’s Magritte-like miniature landscapes under glass domes, tiny clapboard houses teeter on the brink of sinkholes or perch precariously on
cliffs. And performance artist Nick Cave’s wonderfully giddy “Soundsuit” costumes resemble creatures from “Star Wars.” A 16th-century palace that was the Strozzi family home from 1538 to 1937, the palazzo was used postwar as a city exhibition center that closed between traveling shows. When Mr. Bradburne was appointed director by the new half-public, halfprivate Strozzi Foundation in 2006, the first thing he did, says the tall, dapper and dynamic Canadian, was “open the doors.” He put plants and benches in the empty courtyard, and added a lively café. There is a reading room with tables, chairs and floor cushions; families can check out clever, exhibit-themed “suitcases” with games for kids. The Strozzi now produces two main exhibitions a year and regular contemporary events in the Strozzina, and all have clearly written, informative labels in Italian and English. As part of Florence’s plan to replace mass tourism with repeat visitors, and to make the Strozzi a Florentine rendezvous, Mr. Bradburne gleefully notes that his team’s exuberant, nonstop innovations have been deemed “ruthlessly coherent.” Until July 15 www.palazzostrozzi.org
Rare books illustrated by leading European artists of the 20th century will be auctioned at a major sale in Paris this month. On March 28, Binoche & Giquello, in association with Sotheby’s, will offer some 190 lots featuring modern masters such as Bonnard, Braque, Chagall, Giacometti, Léger, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and Sonia and Robert Delaunay. The books come from the library of R. & B. L., a French couple only identified by their initials. Books can be viewed presale at Sotheby’s Paris beginning March 23. “All these works were acquired with love and passion,” says Anne Heilbronn, who heads Sotheby’s book and manuscripts department in Paris. “This collection, in which Picasso occupies a key position, unites poetry, literature, painting and beautiful bindings.” A group of 32 books illustrated by Picasso date from 1905 to 1960. The earliest one is French writer André Salmon’s “Poèmes,” which the artist illustrated with “Les Deux Saltimbanques,” a delicate etching featuring two young acrobats. Only 10 copies of this print are known to have survived (estimate: €80,000-€120,000). Carrying the same estimate will be a copy of Surrealist author Max Jacob’s “Le Cornet à Dés” (The Dice Cup) from 1917, with a Cubist engraving by Picasso of a Harlequin, one of the artist’s favorite subjects. “Picasso” (1928), a monograph devoted to the artist by André Level, includes a superb lithograph with a classic profile of Picasso’s beautiful young
mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, one of the first portraits of his muse (estimate: €25,000-€35,000). Matisse will provide other highlights. In a sketchbook from 1930, the hand of the master is seen through spontaneous drawings of nudes, flowers and mythical figures. The images are “emotional, intimate and searching,” says Ms. Heilbronn, adding that a sketchbook by Matisse is rarely seen at auction (estimate: €50,000€70,000). Matisse’s 1947 book “Jazz” is a 20th-century icon that is considered one of the most beautiful artist books of the past century. In the last part of his life, Matisse could no longer paint or draw easily, so he turned to scissors and made paper cutouts exploding with color and life. For this wonderful book, the cutouts are turned into prints. “Jazz” is expected to fetch €150,000-€200,000. Another striking work will be Swiss-born poet Blaise Cendrars’s “La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France” (Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of the little Jeanne of France), illustrated by Ms. Delaunay with vibrant whirls of color that speed down the side of the text. In it, Cendrars tells of his travels; that movement is reflected in the structure of the 1913 book, which folds out like an accordion (estimate: €40,000-€60,000). The sale also features many bindings by the greats of this craft in the 20th century. A binding by Eugène-Alain Séguy for French poet Paul Verlaine’s “Parallèlement” (1900), a book illustrated by 109 lithographs in pink by Bonnard, is decorated with romantic flowers in mother-of-pearl (estimate: €30,000-€40,000). A mosaic binding by Rose Adler with abstract, overlapping spheres for Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” published in 1951 with 30 etchings from Picasso, is estimated at €80,000-€120,000.
Sotheby’s and Binoche & Giquello / Jean-Yves Dubois
BY JUDY FAYARD ith the delightful new show “Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionists,” the Palazzo Strozzi, under director James Bradburne, again confirms its standing as the most vibrant temporary exhibit center in Florence. With some 110 paintings, drawings, illustrations and photographs—landscapes, still lifes and especially portraits—the show focuses on American artists who flocked to Florence and Tuscany in the second half of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th— from the end of the U.S. Civil War until World War I. Some, like the travelers in Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad,” came to absorb the art and history of the Renaissance, bringing with them their New World energy; others were sophisticated expatriates, almost more European than American, and many of them moved in the intellectual and literary circles of William and Henry James, Edith Wharton and Bernard Berenson. They included William Morris Hunt, John La Farge, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Frederick Childe Hassam and the Italian-American Egisto Fabbri. The title’s reference to Impressionism is misleading, given the exhibition’s long time frame. Although an important influence, Impressionism is only one of many styles displayed by the 30 American artists and the small contingent of Italians on show. Born in Florence of nomadic American parents, trained in Paris under Carolus-Duran, Sargent was by far the most widely traveled and accomplished of the Florentine coterie. His incisive portraits of the imposing Henry James (1913), the British writer Vernon Lee (1881), his fellow Florence-born friend Flora Priestly, and the young British dandy, the Earl of Dalhousie (1900)—along with a 1906 self-portrait commissioned by Florence’s Uffizi Gallery—stand out above all the rest. Among the more Impressionistic works on hand are Chase’s garden landscapes and dappled olive grove. But with his majestic handlebar mustache, he was also a fine subject, painted by Frank Duveneck (1876), James Carroll Beckwith (1881-82) and Thomas Eakins (circa 1899). He did himself justice—white ascot, jeweled tiepin, pince-nez—in a 1908 self-portrait commissioned by the Uffizi. Fabbri was born in New York to a Florentine father and an American mother. He moved to Florence to study painting in 1885, and later lived in Paris, where he befriended Degas, Pissarro, Cassatt and Sargent, and started to collect Cézanne. An 1885-90 self-portrait shows a handsome young man with a neat beard and mustache and a direct, brown-eyed gaze. Among the most notable Italian artists in the show, Michele Gordigiani was one of Fabbri’s Florentine teachers, and the official portrait painter of the House of Savoy. Gordigiani’s beautiful “Portrait of the Marchesa Maria Luisa Ginora Lisci” (1884) shows the aristocratic Florentine in the couture finery and fake ringlets for which she was fa-
Artistically Illustrated Tomes
A cutout by Matisse in ‘Jazz’ (1947), a book estimated at €150,000-€200,000.
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The Top-Selling Living Artist Last Year at Auction, German Painter Gerhard Richter Outsold Monet, Giacometti and Rothko—Combined BY KELLY CROW
n the early 1980s, German artist Gerhard Richter painted 24 views of flickering white candles, and not a single one sold. When one of those “Candle” canvases came up at Christie’s in London this past fall, it sold for $16.5 million (€12.6 million). Few people can pinpoint the moment when an artist becomes iconic in the way of Pablo Picasso or Andy Warhol, but right now the art world is trying to anoint Mr. Richter. Last year, his works sold at auction for a total of $200 million, according to auction tracker Artnet—more than any other living artist and topping last year’s auction totals for Claude Monet, Alberto Giacometti and Mark Rothko combined. At Mr. Richter’s gallery in New York, the waiting list for one of his new works, which can sell for $3 million apiece, is several dozen names long. In November at Sotheby’s, London collector Lily Safra paid $20.8 million for Mr. Richter’s 1997 eggplant-colored “Abstract Painting,” an auction record for the artist. Other artists have sold individual works at higher prices—Jeff Koons, for example—but in terms of volume at auction, Mr. Richter currently tops the market. The artist’s ascent is being driven by market demands as much as curatorial merit: Auction houses and museums, eager for new masters to canonize, are showcasing Mr. Richter’s works around the world at an ever-increasing clip. An influx of international collectors and dealers are also seizing the moment to buy or sell his pieces at a profit—including art-world tastemakers such as Russian industrialist Roman Abramovich, French luxury-goods executive Bernard Arnault, dealer Larry Gagosian, Taiwanese electronics mogul Pierre Chen and New York hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen. Mr. Richter’s work is uniquely suited to the tastes of the current art market. Like Picasso, he paints in a number of different styles— from rainbow-hued abstracts to poignant family portraits—giving collectors plenty of choice. Like Warhol, he is prolific, which ensures a steady volume of his works in the marketplace—yet enough of his works are in museum collections that he has avoided a glut. And ever since the deaths last year of painters Cy Twombly and Lucian Freud, collectors searching for another senior statesman have started giving his work a closer look. Collectors are paying a particular premium for Mr. Richter’s larger abstracts from the late 1980s, which have all the visual impact of a work by Francis Bacon or Mr. Rothko, artists whose prices spiked before the recession. These abstracts are also immediately identifiable as being Mr. Richter’s creations, making them easy status symbols. San Francisco dealer Anthony Meier says, “Collectors want an iconic work in a format that everyone recognizes. Monkey see, monkey do.” Mr. Richter, 80 years old, isn’t a household name in the U.S. yet, but he’s revered in Europe. Born in Dresden, he fled the former East Germany months before the Berlin Wall went up. He has spent the past six decades experimenting with ways to refresh traditional painting categories like the still life. He’s best known for haunting family portraits that evoke smudged newspaper clippings—a wry response to Pop that won him a pre-eminent spot among Europe’s postwar painters. He also uses an oversized squeegee the size of a car bumper to create layered abstracts. That he flits between several painting styles, rather than sticking to one signature look, has always confounded some audiences, yet the toggling is actually his calling card, the painter as polymath. A blockbuster retrospective, “Gerhard Richter: Panorama,” has been crisscrossing the art capitals of Europe, having just traveled from London’s Tate Modern to Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie, where it will show through May 13. So far, the show has drawn large crowds; it heads to Paris’s Centre Pompidou in June. For his part, Mr. Richter seems a reluctant commodity. At a time when superstar artists typically have a different dealer for every con-
tinent, he funnels nearly all his new works through New York dealer Marian Goodman. Both are soft-spoken and rarely attend highprofile auctions. The pair has declined lucrative licensing deals and private commissions. For years, their combined efforts have helped his price levels retain an air of integrity. Ms. Goodman, speaking on behalf of the artist, who declined to be interviewed himself, said, “He has an honest market.” Not everyone is ready to bet on Mr. Richter. Jose Mugrabi and David Nahmad, major dealers in Warhol and Picasso, respectively, said they don’t think Mr. Richter has enough heft to compete with the market presence of those modern masters. Mr. Mugrabi said Mr. Richter’s art is more fashionable now than it used to be, but not more important. Trends in contemporary art, as in fashion, can also change quickly, so it’s unclear whether Mr. Richter’s prices will keep climbing or drop again over the long run. In the late 1980s,
Auction houses and museums, eager for new masters to canonize, are showcasing Mr. Richter’s works around the world at an ever-increasing clip. prices for Frank Stella’s geometric paintings rose quickly to nearly $4 million before reaching a plateau in 1989 that he hasn’t matched at auction since. Mr. Rothko’s abstract paintings also soared to $72.8 million during the market’s last peak in 2007, but nothing by him has sold for half as much in the past couple of years. Art adviser Nicolai Frahm says he’s counseling his collector clients to hold off seeking Mr. Richter’s works “until his prices equalize.” Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art, said he thinks such lofty comparisons to Picasso and Warhol will hold up, though. “Richter doesn’t want to be the next king, but he has taken painting farther than just about anyone else,” he said. Mr. Richter works out of a pair of pristine studios in Cologne, including one attached by a garden path to the home he shares with his third wife, Sabine, and their young son, Moritz. Mr. Richter suffered a stroke a few years ago, but he remains fit and moves easily, his face framed by a jaunty pair of translucent eyeglasses. The son of a Dresden schoolteacher, Mr. Richter grew up in communist East Germany, steeped in the academic rigors of Soviet Realism. Some of his first jobs included painting murals of cheery workers for the state. In 1959, he saw Western contemporary art for the first time at an exhibition called Documenta in the German town of Kassel; afterward, he told friends he would have to rethink what he knew about art after seeing Jackson Pollock’s drippy splatters and Lucio Fontana’s punctured canvases. Two years later, he and his wife, Ema, enlisted a friend to sneak them by car into West Berlin so he could study art without political constraint. The couple moved to Düsseldorf, and by the end of the summer the Berlin Wall had gone up. He never saw his parents again. Over the next decade, the artist grappled with occasional homesickness—and the legacy of his country’s role in the war—by painting portraits of his relatives that looked like black-and-white photographs, only hazy. The subjects included his “Aunt Marianne,” who was exterminated by the Nazis because she was mentally ill, and his “Uncle Rudi,” a Nazi soldier who died fighting in the war. Rudolf Zwirner, one of the artist’s earliest dealers, was impressed when he saw the work in 1962; few German artists were addressing such disquieting topics. For years after the war, wealthy American collectors who were championing Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol considered German art “taboo,” Mr. Zwirner said, so he and other dealers cultivated collec-
tors for Mr. Richter nearby. Their prices rarely topped $1,000. “I sold Richters to my physician, my neighbors, my brother—anybody I could convince,” he said. To this day, it’s not unusual for bourgeois families in the region to own dozens of works by the artist; one collector in Munich owns 70 works. By the time Mr. Richter was invited to represent Germany in the 1972 Venice Biennale, his pool of countrymen collectors was deep. In the years that followed, Mr. Richter churned through several different series—like those candles—which didn’t sell as well as the angst-ridden paintings of his German contemporaries like Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. But in the mid-1980s, he began making brightly colored abstracts, and collectors pounced. San Francisco collectors Donald and Doris Fisher, who founded the Gap retail chain, bought several of these works.
The real turning point for Mr. Richter came in 1995 when New York’s Museum of Modern Art paid $3 million for a suite of 15 grisaille paintings called “Oct. 18, 1977.” The artist painted this cycle in 1988 as a response to the arrest, trial and grisly death in 1977 of a group of young German anarchists-turned-terrorists. Mr. Storr, the Yale dean who then served as the museum’s senior curator of painting and sculpture, began planning a major survey of Mr. Richter’s work for the museum. As soon as word leaked about the museum show, Mr. Zwirner said his phone started ringing with American collectors seeking Richters. A year later, in 1996, Sotheby’s in London put a Richter on the cover of one of its sale catalogs. Back in Germany, longtime collectors started getting letters from auction houses: Did they care to sell a Richter? MoMA’s long-awaited survey opened six
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Clockwise from far left: Mr. Richter at the blockbuster retrospective ‘Gerhard Richter: Panorama’ at Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie; ‘Sailors’ sold for $13.2 million at Sotheby’s; Mr. Richter with his longtime dealer, Marian Goodman; 1997 ‘Abstract Painting,’ sold for $20.8 million at Sotheby’s; ‘Candle’ 1982 painting sold in October at Christie’s for $16.5 million.
years later, in 2001, and suddenly series that had seemed random when they debuted, like his “Candle” works, seemed relevant, said Sotheby’s specialist Cheyenne Westphal. Three months after the exhibit opened, the auction house sold his “Three Candles” for $5.3 million. Two years after that, a lawyer and collector based in Zurich named Joe Hage began gathering auction prices and exhibit details about the works in Mr. Richter’s oeuvre. He started a website, gerhard-richter.com, and began posting the results online. For newer, Internet-savvy collectors, Mr. Hage’s site has proved popular because of all that its tallying has revealed. Mr. Richter has created 3,000 paintings—fewer than Warhol’s 8,000 silk-screens but considerably more than Salvador Dalí’s 1,200 works. He’s also heavily traded, with more than 200 of his works turning up at auction every year, which provides
buyers with a regular stream of price points to analyze. Museums own roughly 38% of his works, though, including half of his most coveted works, those large squeegee abstracts. By 2006, an influx of newly wealthy collectors began competing hard for contemporary art, spiking values for dozens of artists including Mr. Richter. Sotheby’s began shipping its top Richters to Hong Kong so potential bidders there could see his works. In May 2006, a bidder at Berlin’s Villa Griesbach auction house paid $1 million for Mr. Richter’s 1971 portrait of “Mao.” The following summer, the same painting came up for bid at Christie’s in London and sold for $2.5 million. Then came the snowball: In February 2008, the artist’s eldest daughter, Betty, sold her 1983 “Candle” for $15.8 million, triple the high estimate, at Sotheby’s. Three months later, Mr. Abramovich dropped $15.1 million for Mr. Rich-
ter’s green-gray “Abstract Painting” from 1990. It was only priced to sell for up to $7 million. With that, collectors recalibrated Mr. Richter’s high bar to $15 million or more. During the recession that followed, potential sellers of Mr. Richter’s masterworks largely sat on the sidelines, but by late 2010, as the market perked up again, a fresh set of collectors began embellishing their collections with Richters. That November, Sotheby’s got $13.2 million for his 1966 “Sailors,” a work that spent years in the New Museum Weserburg in Bremen. The buyers were Houston hedge-fund manager John Arnold and his wife, Laura. A pivotal sale four months ago sealed the deal. At Sotheby’s in New York, London collectors Marc and Victoria Sursock offered up eight Richter abstracts; all sold for well over their asking prices, including the abstract that went to Ms. Safra for $20.8 million. Last month in
London, collectors came back for more: Christie’s got $15.5 million for a green Richter abstract, while Sotheby’s sold a creamy abstract to a former Zurich nightclub owner, Carl Hirschmann, for $4.8 million. Mr. Richter has told friends he thinks his recent auction records are “absurd.” But for his longtime collectors, they’re paying dividends. A few years ago, as Berlin endocrinologist Thomas Olbricht was constructing a five-story museum to showcase his art collection, he realized he was running low on cash. So he sold a blue-orange Richter abstract. Mr. Olbricht had paid about $287,000 for it in 1996; Christie’s sold it for him in 2008 for $14.8 million. Today, the museum, called the Me Collectors Room, rises from a narrow street in Berlin’s bustling Mitte neighborhood. “I still wish I’d been able to keep that painting,” Mr. Olbricht said. “Today, it would be worth $20 million.”
Clockwise from left, Agence France-Presse/Getty Images; Sotheby’s; ourtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris; Christie’s; © Gerhard Richter, Courtesy The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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Readying the Garden to Be a Living Room BY RITA KONIG
Clockwise from left: Ryland Peters & Small Ltd; F. Martin Ramin(cushions); Simon Brown/Loupe Images(table); F. Martin Ramin; Simon Brown/Loupe Images.
t is amazing how every year, almost from one day to the next, the midwinter gloom lifts. The light changes and the farmers’ market is suddenly filled with bunches of daffodils, narcissi and hyacinths. Spring is on our doorstep and I am eager to get outside and prepare the garden for its life as an exterior room. My new apartment in London opens onto a small north-facing patch of earth and my mind is racing. I have always thought that city gardens should be treated like external rooms. In the same way that you consider how to use a room inside, consider how you’re going to use a space outside. Is it a summer dining room, a lawn for lying out on rugs or a tableau that you are rarely going to be in but look at from indoors? (Or is it a bicycle storage zone for everyone else in the building, as mine is?) Ideally I would like to plant deep beds of greenery—clouds of box, ferns, a willow tree and maybe a magnolia, with a glossy blackpainted metal bench somewhere. With a monotone garden one can then add seasonally. And I would really love to have a table of potted plants. Flowers in containers are so mobile and easy to manage, especially since one can buy them already in a pot (perfect for the pale-green fingered). The table doesn’t necessarily have to be garden furniture—in fact, much better that it is not. I find that gardens can become so impersonal when filled with rather homogenized pieces from some frightfully expensive garden furniture company. I like tables that have stone tops. I would think nothing of putting one of those French pastry tables with a marble surface outside. As the metal base and the marble get rained on, they become green and mossy and lovely. Using a table for plants not only brings those beauties up to eye level but it gives the furniture more life. In the same way that a dining-room table can be terribly lonely when not in use, the garden table often finds itself a rather forlorn piece of furniture. Let the table also be your potting station, or treat it as you would a console. You could shove it up against the garden wall and put a bust on it, or even temporarily prop a picture on it. More permanently, you might hang some antlers on the wall behind it. And when you entertain—still a little ways off—use the table to set up your bar on. In the urban garden, which is usually small, evening lighting is particularly important. If the garden is prettily lit, the room that opens onto it doubles in size. I love the look of lanterns or chandeliers hanging from a tree. I am also fond of a table lamp outside—for practical reasons, it should be under a porch or otherwise taken inside. Localized lighting does something to draw that great open air in, rather like how a well-appointed stage set can command the enormous black space around it. This is why I think gardens should be thought of like rooms. I believe in the decoration and adornment of the exterior. It suddenly makes these spaces much nicer places to hang out. If you are currently without an outside room to decorate then I suggest a trip to your local market or florist this weekend to bring some of this heavenly spring inside.
Left to right, early 20th-century French wine-bottle lamp from the White Warehouse, 1stdibs.com; vintage clay pot and saucer from Lexington Gardens, lexingtongardensnyc.com; antique Caucasian Rug Pillows from John Derian Dry Goods, johnderian.com; and a 19th-century French baker’s table from Berkshire Home & Antiques, 1stdibs.com.
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Why Nations Fail By Daron Acemoglu And James A. Robinson Profile, 464 pages, £25 BY DALIBOR ROHAC Why is Mexico poorer than the United States? In “Why Nations Fail,” Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson blame the encomienda. After the defeat of the Aztec empire in 1521, the Spanish imposed the system as a means of extracting tribute from the local population. Each encomendero would be allocated a number of Native Americans, who would then be used essentially as slave labor. In early Virginia and Maryland, Edward Wingfield and Lord Baltimore also tried to impose a manorial system upon the English colonists. But that system never took root because settlers had a multitude of other opportunities in the New World. The colonial institutions of North America gave most colonists—or at least the adult men—a say in how their colonies were governed. The result, according to Messrs. Acemoglu and Robinson, is that in Mexico, colonization ultimately led to the entrenchment of economic and political institutions that aimed at making a few rich at the expense of the many. But in the United States, colonization bequeathed institutions that have, despite their imperfections, catered to the needs of the population at large. The main claim of “Why Nations Fail” is twofold. First, differences in institutions—not geography or culture—are the key explanation for differences in wealth around the globe. Second, those differences are
often a result of historical accidents, such as the different colonization strategies adopted in different regions of the Americas. Messrs. Acemoglu and Robinson hardly need introduction. Professors of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, respectively, they are among the world’s most influential voices in the field. In 2005, Mr. Acemoglu received the John Bates Clarke Medal, an award given by the American Economic Association to outstanding economists under the age of 40. Receiving the award is highly correlated with later receiving the Nobel Prize in economics.
Institutions—more than geography or culture—may explain wealth disparities around the globe. How compelling is their view of drivers of uneven economic development? A quick look at contemporary Mexico and the U.S. hint that it might not be off the mark. As their book notes, the wealthiest man in the U.S., Bill Gates, is a self-made entrepreneur whose products have transformed the lives of more than a billion individuals around the planet. The richest Mexican, Carlos Slim, made most of his wealth by privatizing Telmex, previously Mexico’s national telecom company, and by collecting monopoly profits at a time when the demand for telecommunication services exploded. At the heart of Messrs. Acemoglu and Robinson’s theory is a distinction between “inclusive” and “extractive” institutions. Political institu-
tions are “inclusive” when they allow broad participation through secure property rights, law and order, and relatively free entry of new businesses. In contrast, “extractive” institutions “are designed to extract incomes and wealth from one subset of society to benefit a different subset.” Both inclusive and exclusive institutions are self-reinforcing—and so produce either virtuous or vicious circles of economic development. Combinations of extractive and inclusive institutions, on the other hand, are unstable—the authors argue that “inclusive economic institutions will neither support nor be supported by extractive political ones.” Likewise, under inclusive political institutions, those in power “cannot easily use it to set up extractive economic institutions for their own benefit.” Seen through that frame, it’s no wonder that the elites in 19th century Russia or in the Habsburg Empire very often opposed economic changes that opened access to economic opportunity. Messrs. Acemoglu and Robinson quote Friedrich von Gentz, an adviser to Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich, who put the matter bluntly: “We do not desire at all that the great masses shall become well off. . . . How could we otherwise rule over them?” What emerges from “How Nations Fail” is a thorough economic theory of institutional change. Economic and political institutions become extractive or inclusive based on the payoffs perceived by those who are making political decisions. Inclusive reforms, such as the extension of suffrage or the abolition of monopoly privileges, occur when the elites perceive that the benefits outweigh the costs. The payoffs are
The Granger Collection, New York
The Poverty of Nations
‘Is Mexico poorer than the U.S. because of the Spanish colonial system?’ shaped by various considerations, including the threat of social unrest and revolution, efficiency gains from moving towards more inclusive economic institutions and the possibility of compensating the losers of such reforms. Together with Tim Besley’s and Torsten Persson’s recent work, “The Pillars of Prosperity,” Messrs. Acemoglu and Robinson’s book epitomizes the emerging consensus in the economics profession that the drivers of economic growth are the state’s capacity to provide public goods and to serve the population at large, not just the economic or political elite. But this consensus still leaves a lot to be desired.While Messrs. Acemoglu and Robinson are right to reject geography as an explanation for economic development, they are too quick to dismiss culture and mistaken policy ideas as alternative fac-
The Climate Kamikaze
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars By Michael E. Mann Columbia, 395 pages, £19.95 BY ANNE JOLIS The “Hockey Stick” is shorthand for two ways of thinking about global warming. For anti-carbon crusaders, a 1998 paper and its 1999 follow-up showing temperatures over the past 1,000 years demonstrated the terrible and immediate threat that man poses to the planet. (A graph accompanying the paper was nicknamed the “hockey stick,” as it shows a sharp upswing in the 20th century.) For global-warming skeptics, though, the graph and the name are prime examples of the overblown claims and sloppy science behind much of climatology. Michael Mann, a Penn State professor, was the lead author of those studies, which became famous in 2001 when they were included in an assessment report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has since become one of the loudest advocates of the anti-carbon agenda, energetically blogging and tweeting about the need for urgent U.S. emissions reduction and global cap-andtrade. It’s not surprising that he is also a prime target for global-warming skeptics, who argue that establishing statistically significant temperature trends from proxy data is tricky and that Mr. Mann’s certainties involve, at best, debatable speculations and questionable math.
“The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” is the story of both Mr. Mann and his graph. But rather than a chronicle of research and discovery, it’s a score-settling with anyone who has ever doubted his integrity or work: free-market think tanks, industrialists, “scientists for hire,” “the corruptive influence of industry,” the “uninformed” media and public. So, a long list. The trouble, as Mr. Mann sees it, is that while his own errors have been honest and minor, his detractors’ amount to “disinformation.” “Given the complexities,” he writes, “it’s easy enough to make mistakes. For those with an agenda, it is even easier to overlook them or, worse, exploit them intentionally.” He writes that the legitimate scientific and mathematical quibbles are compounded by “the here-and-now incentive” of the media. “Incremental refinements may seem dull and uninspiring to the lay public, but controversy sells. . . . It is not difficult to see why confused observers attempting to follow scientific developments would throw up their hands, resigned to the notion that all we can safely conclude is that ‘the scientists don’t agree.’ ” Thus through the combination of fossil-fueled machinations and a public that can’t handle the nuance, Mr. Mann and the truth have become victims of the “most malicious of the assaults on climate science.” Yet in its treatment of the actual science, “The Hockey Stick” is structured not unlike IPCC reports. Mr. Mann synthesizes selected work in
the field and carefully accounts for uncertainties—the shortcomings of climate modeling, the statistical pitfalls of paleoclimatology, the unknowns surrounding the role of clouds—before lapsing into sound bites: “The key question is, can the model be shown to be useful? Can it make successful predictions? Climate models had passed that test with flying colors by the mid-1990s.” And like IPCC reports, checking endnotes and references is crucial. In his chapter “Climate Science Comes of Age,” Mr. Mann writes that there was “increasing recognition by the mid-1990s” that another 1.5°C (2.5°F) warming beyond current levels “could represent a serious threat to our welfare.” It turns out that “increasing recognition” refers to a benchmark agreed to by a group of EU ministers in 1996, which Mr. Mann cites along with his
own 2009 paper. The book’s climax is a recounting of the 2009 leak or hack of emails and other documents written by Mr. Mann and his associates (and funneled through the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit). The correspondence, along with a second trove released in 2011, highlighted the patchwork behind IPCC science. The leading lights of publicly funded climatology appeared to be brainstorming to pressure journals and review boards to suppress work that challenged their theories, trading tips on how to avoid public-information requests and planning how to present their findings so as to best further “the cause.” In his book, Mr. Mann dubs the unauthorized release of his emails a “crime” and claims that the ensuing “witch hunt” constituted “the most malicious” of “attack after vitriolic attack against us” by the “corporatefunded denial machine.” Yet for all his caviling about “smear campaigns,” “conspiracy theorists” and “character assassination,” Mr. Mann is happy to employ similar tactics against his opponents. Patrick Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists and a past program chair of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Applied Climatology, is introduced as “a prominent climate change contrarian at the University of Virginia primarily known for his advocacy for the fossil fuel industry.” (Nowhere does Mr. Mann explain why a scientist might be more easily corrupted by a check from, say,
tors driving the rise and fall of nations. It is true, as the authors argue, that “poor countries are poor because those who have power make choices that create poverty.” But even if choices over policies and formal rules are guided by purely economic considerations, they are informed by expectations and beliefs of the policy makers, and by the prevailing social norms. “Why Nations Fail” is a splendid piece of scholarship and a showcase of economic rigor. But even so, it captures only part of the story. To understand economic growth at a deeper level we need to go beyond neoclassical economics and have a serious conversation about what shapes the beliefs, cultural norms and values of societies, and the effects that these, in turn, have on our economies. —Mr. Rohac is an economist at the Legatum Institute in London.
a coal company than by one from a politically controlled institution.) Just this February, Mr. Mann took to the Daily Kos to praise the theft of internal documents from the freemarket Heartland Institute for offering “a peek behind the curtain of industry-funded climate change denial.” It was revelatory, but not in the way he thought. Hours after Mr. Mann posted his online musings, the much-decorated hydroclimatologist Peter Gleick (2003 MacArthur fellow, adviser to the EPA and, until recently, chairman of the American Geophysical Union’s task force on scientific ethics) confessed to the Heartland theft. Apologizing for his actions, he wrote that he had been “blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts—often anonymous, wellfunded, and coordinated—to attack climate science and scientists.” Mr. Mann closes “The Hockey Stick” with a passionate call for more scientists to join him “on the front lines of the climate wars.” “Scientific truth alone,” Mr. Mann writes, “is not enough to carry the day in the court of public opinion.” It would be “irresponsible,” he says, “for us to silently stand by while industry-funded climate change deniers succeed in confusing and distracting the public and dissuading our policy makers from taking appropriate actions.” These are unfortunate conclusions for a scientist-turned-climate-warrior whose greatest weakness has always been a low estimation of the public intellect. —Miss Jolis is an editorial page writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Friday - Sunday, March 16 - 18, 2012 | W11
CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS THE RISE OF L.A. ART While the Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and countless other museums today give Los Angeles a cultural significance beyond film and television, the local arts scene hasn’t always been so vibrant. “Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles, 1950-1980” outlines the city’s burgeoning scene, from the versatile postwar period to the distinctly Californian style of the 1980s. Drawing from more than 60 Los Angeles institutions, the show presents works by Edward Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, David Hockney and others. Martin-Gropius-Bau Until June 10 www.berlinerfestspiele.de
Javier del Real
A Work of Choruses and Dance Madrid A MELDING OF SINGING FORMS Belgian choreographer and director Alain Platel describes his latest genre-bending creation, “C(h)oeurs,” which premiered Monday at the Teatro Real, as “an homage to the chorus in general.” It is a knotty, suggestive formulation, in keeping with Mr. Platel’s typically elusive and unclassifiable signature. But disentangling it, like wrestling with this encoiled work itself, is well worth the trouble. To a wrenching litany of choruses by Verdi and Wagner, from the “Messa da Requiem” to “Tannhäuser,” 10 dancers intermingle with the theater’s 72-person chorus in a continuous stream of dance, mock protest and stylized acting. The overall effect is enthralling, even though, midway through, it temporarily sags under the weight of some unfortunate philosophical ponderousness. (Even that, though, is an entertaining and momentary excess.) The melding of singing
forms—the taut, practiced bodies of dancers juxtaposed with the earnest and explosive flailing of the chorus’s brilliantly intrepid singers—creates palpable heat on stage. Sometimes the audience is even made to feel accosted, as when chorus members run together to create the swirling vortex effect of a political rally, or when they stomp up to the edge of the stage shouting out nervy taunts. Swarming forms, textures and sounds enlarge the very concept of the chorus itself. It is both a collective entity (even a multiform Everyman) possessed of synergistic force and also a zone of individual expression. True to its thespian origins, this chorus also seems to have a consciousness (and unconsciousness) all its own. But it “contains multitudes”: Bodies ricochet from unstable individual postures to join the collective charge. While the chorus fervidly sang Verdi’s “Tuba Mirum,” lone dancers convulsing in palsied shimmies across the stage gradually con-
verged. For a moment, the stage was electrified; floating, gnarled and disparate forms forged a vibrating, angular geometry resembling Géricault’s “Raft of the Medusa.” Indeed, Mr. Platel has staged a journey of sorts that conjures metaphysical and spiritual homecomings. The refrain of the “homeland,” skillfully drawn out by the chorus and crisply elaborated by the orchestra under Marc Piollet, wafts up from the Verdi and Wagner scores. To watch the dancers writhe and flutter across stage—like jellyfish incantations of a Cubist scheme gone mesmerizingly haywire—one sees a kind of eternal return at play. Infirm and teetering, invariably pushed off course by some unknown force, the dancers eventually inch their way up a flight of stairs while the chorus, with their hands painted red, recreate a perseverant heartbeat with opening and closing fists. —Jonathan Blitzer Until March 26 www.teatro-real.com
Weak ‘Miss Fortune’ Is a Waste of Talent NOT A WINNING TICKET “Miss Fortune?” Or misbegotten? In any case it’s bad luck for Kasper Holten, the new director of opera at the Royal Opera House. Though not responsible for commissioning either the wretched “Rusalka” (just ended) or Judith Weir’s new “Miss Fortune” (first seen at the Bregenz Festival this summer), he has to carry the can for these two expensive flops. Ms. Weir looked a good bet. I enjoyed her last opera, “Blond Eckbert,” and she’s a bankable composer of folk-tale-derived operas and concert pieces—even if she does insist on writing her own librettos. This was at the very least a mistake in the present instance, as any street rapper would have told her that you couldn’t get away with an aria about a beautifully ironed shirt. Based on a Sicilian folk tale, “Miss Fortune” is Tina (soprano Emma Bell), born to riches, reduced to rags by a very annoying character representing Fate (countertenor Andrew Watts). She finds a lottery ticket, which differs from the winner by a single digit, and she gets Fate to back up time and make it
Emma Bell as Tina
Emma Bell as Tina in ‘Miss Fortune.’ win; then she gives away the loot, deciding she prefers the love of a good baritone (Jacques Imbrailo). Their excellent performances, along with two others by tenor Noah Stewart and mezzo AnneMarie Owens, are squandered on
this silly libretto and unthrilling score (though Mr. Stewart’s aubade has its moments, and the prologue to the second act is deft). Egregiously and perversely, this misjudged piece has a grand and costly production by Chen ShiZheng, with stunning visuals—sets by Tom Pye, lighting effects by Scott Zielinski and video designs by Leigh Sachwitz. Mr. Pye’s awesome abstract geometric slabs that balance vertically on a single point would be easier to admire if they had any point. Setting part of the piece in a kebab van, and then setting it on fire, doesn’t make this a tale for today. And the sweatshop garment factory with its rows of sewing machines look more borrowed from the spinning song of a production of “The Flying Dutchman” than like a social evil made new. The violence isn’t merely gratuitous, but almost goofy. Not even the troupe of superbly choreographed but supremely senseless break dancers can confer contemporary relevance upon this waste of resources that no one could possibly mistake for a grand opera. —Paul Levy Until March 28 www.roh.org.uk
ARCHITECTURE OF THE MIND Contemporary Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa explores social and urban evolution through his sculptures, photographs and installations. Much like the infrastructure of his hometown of Havana, Mr. Garaicoa’s art is dominated by buildings and ruins. But instead of concrete and wood, his obtrusive structures have been created by a variety of ideologies and beliefs. “Carlos Garaicoa: A City View from the Table of my House” is the first retrospective of the artist’s work in Germany. Kunstverein Braunschweig Until May 20 www.kunstverein-bs.de
Dublin DRAKE HEADLINES During his eight-year rise to stardom on the Canadian teen drama series “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” Aubrey Drake Graham evolved into a hip-hop artist, releasing mix tapes and EPs that received attention from rap megastar Lil Wayne. Drake has since turned into an international sensation. Following the release of his second album “Take Care” last year, his Club Paradise Tour highlights his introspective lyrics and pop-infused R&B grooves. March 24, O2 Arena March 26-27, 02 Arena, London March 29, Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield More European dates at www.drakeofficial.com
Istanbul MONA HATOUM RETROSPECTIVE As one of only a few internationally known female contemporary Palestinian artists, Mona Hatoum has experimented in thematic fields ranging from loss to surveillance, as well as a wide range of media, including video, installations, sculpture, works on paper and photography. “You Are Still Here” shows 30 pieces by the artist from the 1990s to the present, including new works. Arter 17 March-27 May www.arter.org.tr
including the 1964 screen adaptation, “Marriage Italian Style,” featuring Sophia Loren. Almeida Theatre Until May 12 www.almeida.co.uk
Oslo LIFE AS A JOURNEY If modern life is a cocktail of diverse experiences and backgrounds, identity will invariably be tied to the routes traveled. The road behind us and the road ahead suggest that our sense of self is ever evolving, forever unfinished. This theory underlies “Unfinished Journeys.” The exhibition, focused on travel, identity and migration, includes works by Stanley Brouwn, Kristina Bræin, Tacita Dean and others. Museum of Contemporary Art Until May 20 www.nasjonalmuseet.no
Isaac Julien, ‘Mazu, Turning (Ten Thousand Waves)’ (2010).
Paris THE FEMALE CARAVAGGIO Seventeeth-century Italy afforded a woman a social standing similar to that of a child: she was the property of men—her father, her brother, her husband and sons. Artemisia Gentileschi broke these conventions and followed in the footsteps of her father, the painter Orazio Gentileschi, to become one of the most revolutionary artists of the Baroque period. Her oeuvre is explored indepth in “Artemisia: Power, Glory and Passion of a Female Painter.” Musée Maillol Until July 15 www.museemaillol.com
Rome MIRÓ’S PLAYFUL POETRY In the 1930s, Joan Miró rejected conventional painting methods for what he saw as their support of bourgeois society. Though he was unable to buck the system completely , Miró’s playful, dream-like approach to painting helped revolutionize 20th-century art. “Miró! Poetry and Light” showcases more than 80 works from the last 30 years of his life, including 50 paintings, several watercolors, bronzes and pottery. Chiostro del Bramante Until June 10 chiostrodelbramante.it —Thorsten Gritschke
London TIL DEATH DO US PART Michael Attenborough directs a newly translated version of Eduardo De Filippo’s comedy “Filumena,” starring OlivierAward-winner Samantha Spiro in the title role. Set in 1940s Naples, the story of a prostitute feigning terminal illness to trick her lover into marriage has proved popular in its numerous incarnations,
Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca
A scene from ‘C(h)oeurs.’
Joan Miró, ‘Untitled’ (date unknown).
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
W12 | Friday - Sunday, March 16 - 18, 2012
FRIDAY NIGHT, SATURDAY MORNING
Viajante Chef Nuno Mendes Savors London Nightlife
How do you start your Friday night? I really like going to bars in the area where I live. I really like the Worship Street Whistling Shop in Shoreditch. This is a fantastic place that looks like an office building, a little close to the City but with a very interesting night
it is probably my favorite coffee shop. This place is very close to my house and Wilton Way is also a very nice, undiscovered little street in Hackney that has a lot of little treasures.
Do you get ideas there for your own cooking? Yes. It is very inspiring. It has a really nice wine shop and I think it is in the process of getting a butcher. [The street] has a very nice bakery called the Violet Cakes and I really like going there. They have very nice cupcakes.
Do you have a favorite drink to relax with on a Friday night? It depends on my mood. I actually just tried a really nice Martini with black olives. I really enjoyed that. What else do you get up to? It is harder to get a night off with a young baby. So my partner, Clarise, and I tend to stay east and go to the cinema because it is easier to book a babysitter for that time. I go to Hackney Picturehouse, which is full of fantastic movies. It’s a really nice, new cinema. It’s just opened but it is developing its personality very quickly. The bar is pretty good and the food is very tasty as well.
You have lived in many places in the world. How do you rate London when it comes to food? I think it’s fantastic. The only thing I think we are missing is the night scene. Living in New York and Asia for years, the one thing I like about those places is that at two or three in the morning, you can have a really nice meal—not just a crappy diner, but you can find amazing sushi, or brasseries or restaurants doing great food all night…. There’s no one doing that in London. I am trying to get a group of friends to start that.
What is your Saturday morning routine like? On Saturday, I always like to go to Broadway Market for Yum Buns and coffee. I go with my daughter, Orla, and Clarise. Broadway Market is a street with great food vendors where you can buy amazing breads and cheeses, spreads, bakery items. There’s a lot of prepared food as well and fantastic coffees. They have quite a great mix of things you can choose from. I always go to a place called Wilton Way Cafe, and
What would you like to do if you had more free time? I would spend more time with my family and travel as much as possible. I like to go out and eat and drink and see what other people are doing. It would also be nice to read a book. These days, I find it so hard to sit in the park and read a book. It’s impossible to find the time to do that. —Mr. Mendes was speaking with Javier Espinoza.
THE JOURNAL CROSSWORD / Edited by Mike Shenk Across 1 5 10 15 19 20 21 22
23 Comfortable middle class in western Europe? 26 Class action? 27 Like many Tanglewood concerts 28 “Password” host Allen 29 Vital sign 30 Indiana Jones trademark 31 Fashion outlet on the Red Sea? 34 Below, to Brutus
Ceremonial robes Gentle beginning? Reason to squint Cough syrup amts. Sack Dwight beat him twice Spring settings “It’s you! What a surprise!”
36 37 38 41 44 46
Mischievous one Cloister resident Raspberry’s relative ___ cube (3-D puzzle) Bio major’s expense Hotel casino with a lion logo 48 Crazy for Transylvania vampire lore? 50 Formerly known as 52 Declined
Passportmanteaux / by Joon Pahk & Amy Reynaldo 1
31 34 41
106 107 108 112
102 103 104 105
110 113 114 117 121
53 54 56 59 62 64 65 67 71 72 74 78 80 81 82 84 87 90 92 93 94 95 96 98 101 106 109 110 111 112 115 116 117 118 119 120 121
Stuck It may bear the cost Peons in Eurasia? Folding shades Least slovenly, as attire Goofs Like a debauched party on the Black Sea? Sufferer’s suffix Get turned around the right way Feature of a compact revolver Like minor sins in eastern Europe? Biological pouch “Aw, shoot!” Embattled Syrian president Army of the Valley soldier Behemoth of the Gobi Desert? Cock-and-bull story Spanish queens First name in 1950s comedy DDE’s command Whichever Bewitch Plumber’s concern Octogenarian on the Gulf of Guinea? Get cozy Bar fight? Popular Nissan Protected against loss Ear covering Stewed chicken dishes on the Cape of Good Hope? Ready for work Indian queen It’s full of arcana Surprise loser of story Lawn invader Subjective pieces Visitor to the Starretts’ farmstead Poem about rustic life
Down 1 Jazz standard “___ Me”
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 24 25 29 31 32 33 35 38 39 40 41 42 43 45 46 47 48 49 51 55
Andrew Testa/Panos for The Wall Street Journal
Nuno Mendes is an East-ender at heart. The Portuguese-born chef, known for the experimental cuisine at his Michelin-starred Viajante restaurant in London’s Bethnal Green neighborhood, enjoys spending his free time in East London, where he has lived since moving to England seven years ago. Mr. Mendes, who worked for El Bulli in Spain and in some of the best restaurants in the U.S. before opening Viajante in 2010, has developed a reputation as one of the rising stars of London’s high-end cuisine with his cutting-edge blind-tasting menus. These days, the 38-year-old chef is also busy planning this year’s edition of the Loft Project, a supper club he started in 2009 with his partner Clarise Faria, where talented chefs from top kitchens around the world host dinners for guests around one communal table in a warehouse. When he isn’t cooking, Mr. Mendes enjoys relaxing at neighborhood coffee shops and bars, catching a movie and being a dad to his 1-year-old daughter. “I have been living in East London for a long time and I usually tend to hang out around the area,” he says.
scene. It is very warm and there is a lot of effort put into it, from the uniforms to the layout and decoration…. I also go to Lounge Bohemia, which a friend of mine operates. It’s a fantastic cocktail bar. You go downstairs and you find this amazing space tucked away. They are quite experimental…. It’s very small, it’s only like 10 seats.
The Portuguese chef talks to The Wall Street Journal Europe about how he starts his weekend.
Watchmaker’s aid Ready to ship Courtroom worker Major cymbal brand Funk Seasonal affliction Hull sealer 2003 film that won the “Razzie grand slam” Plus sign? Out of action Charm or stamina, say Holding in check Argot ending Chef’s hat Rabbi’s workplace Greek consonants Clothing label datum Guam’s group 1978 Broadway revue Acrid Horror film sucker, informally Poke Shiite holy city Manatee Springs State Pk. setting Rich sponge cake Scott Turow’s recounting of his first year at Harvard Law Likelihood Ping producer Astrologer Sydney Two famous Goya paintings Pipe collar Case determinants Slugging stat Like a golden papaya Cymbeline’s daughter Grub Results of bull markets For an interactive version of The Wall Street Journal Crossword, WSJ.com subscribers can go to WSJ.com/Puzzles
86 57 German possessive that’s a homophone of its English equivalent 88 58 Pre-euro Portuguese currency 60 First pope called “the Great” 89 91 61 1957 hit for Jimmy Dorsey 95 63 Mat used in the Japanese tea ceremony 97 66 Annoy 98 67 Nonprotuberant navel 99 68 “Animal House” party garb 69 Last Supper query 100 70 Rogen of “50/50” 102 71 Nickname for a 103 Tuskegee Airman 104 73 Mr. Clean trademark 105 74 Fill up 106 75 Would-be atty.’s exam 107 76 Where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded 108 77 He played Jim in “The Doors” 110 79 Dubya’s secretary of state 112 83 Pants, e.g. 113 85 DEA agent 114
Federal Citizen Information Ctr. overseer He won an Oscar for directing Heath and Jake Homemade cleansing bar Bonus Made a suggestion Not learned Opposite of well-dressed? Gather with one’s extended family, familiarly Rapids transit California rolls and the like Road gripper Looking askance New car of 1957 Lose one’s aloofness Sticks figure Castaway’s place Trash can or file folder, e.g. Full house letters Stadium cheer 401(k) cousin
Last week’s solution R I S E R
A M U S E
S P I T S
C A C A O
R I N G O N E I S AWN H A A D O R A P I T H E N V I M E A S A N D R I D E A L G E MA J L AMA I N E R
A L L E R I D E S A L E W O N I P A D S I D E D A R O F F M I N B R I D E S C O R T H E R S E S Y S T S H A R H E G E O R K R R S T
T O Q U E S I E S T A W E I L A N D
A P E R B I WA N U E E Z E T Z E B R I D R O P E I E A T S T T S A R E S I D E S T A S T R L A T I O S A L F A T E S I D E S C N O S O N G O R C H E L A H A R I P E R E B R A
P A P C AMA U N P I B R A R E S MA I N I N L A R G T A R I I L E N C R A I G H AW E N G E M A I R L I C E A S R E E N T U S T B S AW R I T R I D E S E C E L E S S L A T
A R L E D G E
L O E S S E R
E S T S A T N E E S V S T O R T E
O T T E R
Published on May 28, 2012